Seoul Station Visitor Guide 2023: Everything you need to know
Seoul Station was just a 33-meter square wooden building in 1990. Today it is one of the busiest stations in Korea, offering connections to both the Seoul Metropolitan Subway and to Korail intercity lines.
In many ways, this city is a bit of an undiscovered gem in terms of tourism. It is an eclectic mix of modern skyscrapers and high-speed transport, intermingled with cobbled streets and ancient wooden-framed tea houses with verdantly leafed courtyards.
From Seoul Station, you are less than five kilometers from both the ancient Gyeongbokgung Palace, dating back to 57 BC, and the modern Dongdaemun Design Plaza with its state-of-the-art conference center and rooftop park.
This city offers so much to explore that it is bound to start to attract more visitors in the coming years. It might be worth considering getting there before it is discovered by the thronging masses. You should consider dropping off your luggage at one of the many locker rental facilities and leaving yourself free to explore on foot or using the inexpensive taxi system.
Seoul Station bag policy
Seoul is a high-density city and over sixty percent of the population uses public transport, most notably the subway. That is a sign that the system is efficient, but it also tells you to expect crowds, so avoid rush hour if possible.
You can take bags on the subway but are advised to carry backpacks in front of you to avoid bumping other travelers. On the trains, there are overhead racks for smaller items and storage shelves near the doors for larger bags. If you are carrying a lot of baggage you are probably better off storing anything you won't need and traveling light.
Seoul Station Food Policy
No drinks or food are permitted on the subway, and if you hit rush hour, the reasons will become obvious very quickly. On the KTX trains, however, the food policy is much more lenient. You can pre-buy and carry food aboard with you or you can use the onboard vending machines. There will also be a trolley service offering meals.
In the station itself, there are plenty of takeaway restaurants that will be able to offer you something to keep you from starvation while on your journey. You can stick with familiar favorites like pizza or croissants or you can broaden your horizons and grab a bowl of dumpling soup or some brazed pork belly. There are also plenty of sit-down restaurants if eating on the run isn't your thing.
Seoul Station Camera Policy
This is a modern city that is familiar with the world's passion for snatching photos and wobbly videos. That said, people are shy about having their images captured in perpetuity by foreign strangers. Always ask permission if you are photographing people, especially young women and children.
Places that don't permit the use of photographic equipment will advertise this with obvious signs. Less familiar perhaps, lookout for signs that actually indicate great spots from which to take a panoramic shot.
Seoul Station rules
This is not a country that is unfamiliar with foreign visitors and so none of the rules they impose are too unusual. There are certain cultural requirements that you need to bear in mind, though, as they may be different from what you are used to.
- There are plenty of clean, free, public toilets, but some of these may be for both sexes
- Seats on trains marked priority are for elderly people and young people don't sit in them, even during the rush hour.
- Recycling is taken seriously here so use the appropriate bins and don't litter.
- Don't blow your nose in public
- Smoking is banned in all public places including on station platforms and even at bus stops
Seoul is situated on an isolated peninsular and that fact means that historically they developed a culture that was almost unique to Korea. Much of that culture has been carefully and proudly preserved. Whether it be watching unusual Korean dance, visiting an ancient palace, or participating in an ancient and complex tea ceremony, there is much to do here.
One minute you might be shopping or dining at the quirky Myeong-dong quarter, and not long after that, you could be checking out the art and crafts in the Insa-dong area. The list of options goes on and on, but one thing is certain; there will be lots of people. The last thing you need is to be lugging a mountain of luggage with you as you go about your exploration.
There is an abundance of locker rental facilities where you can drop your baggage in complete peace of mind. You are advised to look for a service that offers the opportunity to book online so that you are assured that a locker will be available when you get there. Another option to consider is free insurance which some of the better services include in their rental fee.